Apple, not Intel, filed for Thunderbolt trademark

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Counter to early indications that Intel already owned the trademark for the Thunderbolt high-speed I/O technology, recently discovered applications with the U.S. and Canadian trademark offices reveal that Apple has filed for the mark.



Apple has leveraged a November 2010 trademark application for the Thunderbolt term in Jamaica to advance claims with the U.S Patent & Trademark Office and the Canadian Intellectual Property Office, MacNN reported on Wednesday.



According to the USPTO, Apple filed an application on May 6, 2011 for a standard character mark that would associate Thunderbolt with a variety of computer- and data-related functions, such as computer peripheral devices, cables, connectors and digital and audio devices.



The move comes as a surprise, as several documents, including the packaging for the early 2011 Thunderbolt MacBook Pros, state that Thunderbolt is a registered trademark of Intel.



In fact, Intel itself lists Thunderbolt on its Trademark Information page. However, MacNN notes that a quick search of U.S. and Canadian records failed to turn up any Intel claims to the mark.



Intel had originally codenamed the technology "Light Peak," eventually deciding on the name Thunderbolt during the development process. Apple's reported contributions to the project include the Mini DisplayPort standard and an "electrical solution" that saw the optical cables changed to copper in order to provide power.







Prior to the official unveiling of the technology, speculation arose that Thunderbolt was Apple's name for the technology, similar to an earlier decision by the company to brand the IEEE 1394 technology as "FireWire."



Rumors emerged earlier this week that Sony plans to implement Thunderbolt in the form of a Type-A USB jack.



HP indicated on Tuesday that it had looked into Thunderbolt, but hadn't "found a value proposition yet." The PC maker has decided to stick with Intel's USB 3.0 specification instead. Intel stated last month its belief that USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt will be "complementary" to each other.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 33
    8corewhore8corewhore Posts: 833member
    Samsung will claim it's theirs.
  • Reply 2 of 33
    Wasn't Intel going to call it Lightpeak? Isn't this the 2nd time Apple has picked up Intel's technology and ran with it and made it into a standard? Before the iMac, USB was circling the drain. About a year before the iMac was introduced Comdex was still around. They had a USB pavilion which was hardly visited by attendees. There were about 8 - 10 companies that were showing off USB hubs. I never saw anything develop until the iMac was announced.
  • Reply 3 of 33
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,588member
    Really hate the 'Thunderbolt' name. 'Light Peak' is much better. Less in your face, more elegant... in my elegant opinion.
  • Reply 4 of 33
    christophbchristophb Posts: 1,430member
    Zeus is gonna be pissed.
  • Reply 5 of 33
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,225member
    What likely happened here is that Intel intended to file, but never did. Apple noticed that and filed instead so that the name would remain with them. This happens all the time. I don't know much about Intel's legal department, but if they wanted this mark, someone is now looking for a job.
  • Reply 6 of 33
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,225member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by paxman View Post


    Really hate the 'Thunderbolt' name. 'Light Peak' is much better. Less in your face, more elegant... in my elegant opinion.



    Light Peak says nothing. I don't see what's great about it.
  • Reply 7 of 33
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,741member
    Thunderbolt sounds srs.
  • Reply 8 of 33
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,174member
    Apple brought this technology to Intel and Intel with Apple expanded it to what it is now.
  • Reply 9 of 33
    chabigchabig Posts: 621member
    I don't understand why AppleInsider thinks they can take stock Apple pictures, assemble them into a collage, and then stamp their own watermark on the result.
  • Reply 10 of 33
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,778member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ChristophB View Post


    Zeus is gonna be pissed.



    I think Thor is up there too.
  • Reply 11 of 33
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,778member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by chabig View Post


    I don't understand why AppleInsider thinks they can take stock Apple pictures, assemble them into a collage, and then stamp their own watermark on the result.



    It is kind of Andy Warhol isn't it?
  • Reply 12 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    Light Peak says nothing. I don't see what's great about it.



    Light Peak originally referred to its fiber optic medium. Of course, "FireWire" doesn't contain fire and "DVD" doesn't really tell you anything either. Of course you could go the literal route and call your port for displays "DisplayPort".



    It's really more about aesthetics and marketing. I agree, "Light Peak" sounds sleek and futuristic, while Thunderbolt sounds like a monster truck. Pretty un-Apple.
  • Reply 13 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by acslater017 View Post


    It's really more about aesthetics and marketing. I agree, "Light Peak" sounds sleek and futuristic, while Thunderbolt sounds like a monster truck. Pretty un-Apple.



    I like your analogy, I agree. Light Peak rolls off the tongue well, trying to say thunderbolt to clients just leaves you feeling kinda over the top.
  • Reply 14 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    I think Thor is up there too.



    Zeus and Thor have been battling that one out in the celestial courts for milennia, perhaps this is one of those "games of the gods" where they get the little clay voodoo dolls and let them play out the contest.



    Only question left, was it Zeus or Thor that chose Apple as their champion?
  • Reply 15 of 33
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,588member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by acslater017 View Post


    Light Peak originally referred to its fiber optic medium. Of course, "FireWire" doesn't contain fire and "DVD" doesn't really tell you anything either. Of course you could go the literal route and call your port for displays "DisplayPort".



    It's really more about aesthetics and marketing. I agree, "Light Peak" sounds sleek and futuristic, while Thunderbolt sounds like a monster truck. Pretty un-Apple.



    Your post is Light Peak, mine was Thunderbolt.
  • Reply 16 of 33
    majjomajjo Posts: 574member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by paxman View Post


    Really hate the 'Thunderbolt' name. 'Light Peak' is much better. Less in your face, more elegant... in my elegant opinion.



    Well, LightPeak doesn't really make sense for the Apple implantation. LightPeak originally refers to the fact that its an optical connection (hence the light part). However, the current implantation uses copper wiring (ie. an electrical connection), so the LightPeak name wouldn't really fit. Thunderbolt does... although quite a few people I know have gotten it confused with the HTC Thunderbolt
  • Reply 17 of 33
    How about iPeak for the name?
  • Reply 18 of 33
    mj webmj web Posts: 918member
    Lightfoot
  • Reply 19 of 33
    applebirdapplebird Posts: 78member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    Thunderbolt sounds srs.



    Cuz Apple is kikin BUTTs
  • Reply 20 of 33
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,225member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by chabig View Post


    I don't understand why AppleInsider thinks they can take stock Apple pictures, assemble them into a collage, and then stamp their own watermark on the result.



    Everyone does it. Does it mean anything? No.
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